Thursday, December 6, 2012

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 36

Episode 36 – December 5 – Today marks the start of my sixth week here in Dante’s seventh circle of Hell although the surgeon counts my week based on when the surgery took place so his weeks start on Friday. Regardless around here every day is Ground Hog Day. Last night’s sleep was pretty rough with delusional woman, Inez across from me constantly yelling and the new woman in the opposite corner throwing up all night. They eventually moved Inez out into hall.
I was still up and doing my workout by 5:30 and just to make sure no was still asleep the Code Red alarm sounded and once again the call was from Evergreen. How much toast do those people eat or at least burn?!
Now would be a good time to explain the colour codes. Code Red usually means a fire or smoke detector has been activated although it could be something like a flood like what happened the first week I was there and most of the elevators were shut down for a couple of days. Code Yellow is for lost patients but that doesn’t include those that are lost in their minds. Code White means there is an unruly family member or visitor and most of you know what a Code Blue from watching medical shows on TV. You only hear them called at most once a week and I’m oblivious to them as long as I don’t hear “Code Blue, Room 621 bed 4”.
Officially, my day nurse was Denise, which is always a good thing but she handed off most of my care to Kim, the student.
The only problem I have with Denise is we have opposing views on the curtains. She likes everything wide open and I like to build my own private universe. She hasn’t realized I can reach all my now from the bed.
It being Wednesday, it meant it was “Rubber Ducky” time! Kim along with Cheryl, the nurses’ aide got a lesson on how to hose down the big guy. I know, I’ve been here way too long when all the pool nurses working up on the seventh floor knew me by name. It was such a delight to get the shower and remove the crud growing in my hair. My hair feels so fluffy and soft today although it’s beginning to look a lot like a mop.
One of the things I did notice after the shower is that not only is the skin on my feet and legs peeling like crazy, the skin on my hands and elbows is starting to do the same. I may need to rent out a sandblaster for some serious dermabrasion.
It’s a bit of a real piss off. Normally, I don’t get too many invitations to holiday parties but this week I’ve already received three and I’ve had to turn down one outright, and the other two are severe long shots that I’ll be out of here on time.
While lifting me back into bed they tried using the scale again. This time it showed me a kilo up on what the original measurement. I don’t think the damn thing works properly because even these stupid gowns hang loose on me. Even Denise who hadn’t been working on my side of the floor for a couple of weeks noticed the difference. So I’m not going by scales just by how I look and feel.
Jenny and Riza came in to abuse my knees and as always it felt great.
My siblings and cousins are going to love this story. I did something I don’t usually do and engaged in conversation with one of my roommates. One of the reasons is very I don’t besides being anti-social most have been incoherent and/or nearly deaf. Gerry in the next bed during our conversation asked my last name. When he heard it, he said “I went to elementary school with two brothers named Donnelly. Roy and” I said “Ralph?” “Yes, Ralph!” “Roy happens to be my dad”. It’s a small world after all. (Lorraine will haunt me for that link.) When Gerry talked to his wife on the phone, she remembered dad as well stating “he was quite a good looking guy”. Why do I think when I ask the Old Boy about them he’ll remember the wife first?
Inez, woman across from with dementia was taken back to Inglewood and a new post-op patient has moved and appears to be coherent. This is the first every in the room has been alert enough t carry on conversations. Not sure if I like that. It makes it harder to be anti-social and hide behind my curtains.
It’s funny about the meal fairies. The lunch fairy actually found me lying on the shower stretcher to take my order and then no even saw the dinner fairy so that would mean it would be Dealer’s Choice and that leads to a lot of apprehension. Actually, they sent up braised beef tips that were okay.
Dr. Haaf came in just before dinner to see how I was doing and to discuss any concerns so I asked him about my skin peeling. He looked at my hands and elbows saw that there was no redness or other evidence of abrasion and came up with an educated medical conclusion of “Good question, let’s keep an eye on it?”
Catherine was my night nurse so it was a great improvement over a few others.
So I finally settled in with a cookie, a couple of oranges and my little blue friend.
To be continued...


  1. Oh, you've reminded me, I'm officially inviting you to my Christmas Party. Oh, can't make it? So sorry. That's okay because THERE IS NO CHRISTMAS PARTY HERE! Psyche!

    Enjoying reading your series and happy it's not me. Thanks for that. xo

  2. There must be someone who travels around doing Manicure's and Pedicure's for (sorry for this one) shut in's
    You should treat yourself as an early Christmas gift.
    Probably would make you feel like a whole new person.